Reflecting an acute shortage of skilled labour force and difficult business conditions, India has slipped 11 places to rank 89th on a global index of talent competitiveness, a list which has been topped by Switzerland.
Switzerland is followed by Singapore, Luxembourg, the US and Denmark in the top five positions on the annual Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTC) released on Tuesday by INSEAD business school in partnership with Adecco Group and the Human Capital Leadership Institute of Singapore. India's ranking is worst among the five BRICS countries, with China leading the pack with a global rank of 48.
Last year, India was ranked 78th on the index that measures a nation's competitiveness based on the quality of talent it can produce, attract and retain. It is released every year on the first day of the World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting. Stating that India and China remain a net exporter of talent, the study said many emerging countries that have invested in higher education have neglected vocational education.
In both China and India skill shortage in vocational talent shows up clearly in the GTCI scores, as it also does in South Africa. "This last year has seen a cooling off in the growth of emerging markets, and indeed we note the relative decline in the talent competitiveness of all BRICS countries except Russia," the study said. It noted that this is particularly the case in Brazil, where talent capabilities show signs of weakening on all fronts despite relatively low scores in vocational skills, China continues to strengthen in growing talent.
In India, there are no signs of an improved regulatory and market landscape to enable the 'Make in India' campaign. "This gap in terms of vocational skills, however, is not limited to BRICs and emerging economies: GTCI data shows that it extends to a number of high-income countries, such as Ireland, Belgium or Spain," the study noted. According to the report, another challenge for countries such as China and India is to attract talent from abroad, particularly in the context of large emigration rates of high-skilled people in the past.
"China has a low performance in terms of Attract (71st), and India shows one of the worst scores (103rd) particularly affected by the lack of international students and, unlike China, by not being able to attract and retain global talent (so being more at risk of a brain drain despite the connection with the diasporas working the IT sector)," it added. "The improvement of India would have the greatest impact in terms of the pool of talent not only in the region but also globally," the report said.